Saturday , July 4 2020

A pile of grass just how useful is it in Zakynthos?

Have you ever wondered how a bale of hay is made?

Well, Zakynthos Informer is going country living!

Zakynthos is well known for its flower species , hence being called “the Flower of the East.” Some plants that grow wild in Zakynthos are not found anywhere else in Greece. The valleys are also well known for their excellent grass species which make perfect food for livestock across the island.

Over the winter months many locals gather different types of wild greens known typically as “Horta”. Boiled Horta served with a drizzle of Zakynthian olive oil and lemon juice is a delight we locals all enjoy.

As winter closes and spring takes over the fields around Zakynthos flourish.

Wild grass known as “agrioxorta” and agriovromi” are types of  Poaceae (Gramineae) and wild oat and other types of plants that can be used as a source for animals who graze such as sheep, cows, horses and goats.

The grass is left to dry out usually around the end of April and early May. Then it is time for cutting, gathering and then baling. Bales of hay known as “Sanos” start popping up around the village fields neatly stacked in a line waiting for the famers to collect.  Around the villages the tractors are working full time.

Just how do they get it like that you may ask?

First the farmers come to cut the grass as shown in the video below.

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After a few days the grass is piled up in a row along the fields. In this way it is easier for the famer to toss the grass into the baling machine when the time comes.

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Finally, after  four to five days and always depending on the weather. Rain is not a good sign if the grass has been cut. Therefore the farmers make sure that within the next few days after cutting the grass the weather is on their side.  The grass is then baled.

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In Zakynthos the most common baling is the oblong shaped bale of hay rather than the round bale.

The bale is tied with 2 strings which makes it easier to carry and load up onto trailer or utility type vehicle.

 

The size of each oblong bale is around 1m x 50cm X 40cm and weighs around 23-25 kilos. They are easy to stack. They are very sturdy and of late have made a great outdoor furnishing. They can be easily placed on one another. For this reason they can be easily transported, too .

About Louise Inzk

Louise is Australian born and has been a Greek citizen since 1991. She has deep cultural ties with the island, often writing about Zakynthian Traditions and Culture. She is also an active member of the Volunteer Group of Zakynthos, Giostra Di Zante and is a member of the women's choir "Rodambelos". Her love of the island and all it offers saw her joining the Zakynthos (Zante) Informer admin team in 2014.

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